Grading Policy

Preamble

I use the following grading policy for work in my undergraduate and graduate courses. If you have questions about your score on a particular piece of work, just ask me about it.

The Policy

Graded Items:
A "graded item" is any work receiving a grade; for example a homework, an exam, a quiz, or class participation. Each graded item is graded on a 100 point scale, where these numeric scores may be "curved" to get a more reasonable grade distribution. If I receive no work for an item, the its score (including its "curved" score) is zero. In undergraduate courses I usually curve the non-zero scores so that their median is at least 80. In graduate courses, I raise this target to 85. I may not always curve this way, especially in a small or experimental class.
Grade Scale:
For the course letter grade, the curved item scores are simply combined as a weighted average, and then your course letter grade is determined by the following table.

Average
Score
Letter
Grade
93 and above A
90 to 92.99 A-
87 to 89.99 B+
83 to 86.99 B
80 to 82.99 B-
77 to 79.99 C+
73 to 76.99 C
70 to 72.99 C-
67 to 69.99 D+
60 to 66.99 D
 0 to 59.99 F

Emory College does not allow A+ or D- as a final letter grade. The graduate school does not give credit for C- or below. The Math/CS department requires a major GPA of at least 2.0 (C).

Choice of Weights:
The relative weights of the graded items should be made clear early in the semester. For example, if I say that homeworks will count for 50% of your grade, then this means that they will have equal weights, summing to 1/2. Or I could say that all homeworks will count equally, and the final exam will be weighted like three homeworks. In that case, the exact weight of the final exam will depend on the number of homeworks.
Makeups:
I may offer makeup versions of some assignments. If attempted, the score on a makeup replaces a previous score. A makeup may have a maximum score less than 100.
Extra Credit:
Extra credit problems are expected to be difficult. If solved, these problems simply increase the score of that homework or exam. The exact increase and formula will be specified with the problem.
Low Scores:
In courses with many homeworks, I may offer to "throw out" the lowest homework grade. So, a mark may be omitted before the final averaging step, but otherwise the process is the same.
S/U Grading (also known as pass/fail):
For S/U grading, S is equivalent to a letter grade of D or higher. S/U courses cannot count towards a Math/CS major or minor.

Consequences

Now I point out some consequences of the policy:

Home. Last Modified: 31 Jan 2017